Zillow’s takeover of StreetEasy became increasingly rocky, with several high-level departures last month. Most visible was the mid-December exit of Sofia Song, longtime head of research and communications, and for many, the public face of the firm. Song joined StreetEasy in 2007 and “was on the front line of StreetEasy’s efforts to win over the [New York City] real estate market,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal and analysis firm Miller Samuel.
Lauren Riefflin replaced Song for public-relations matters.
A few days later, Neeta Vallab, head of marketing, and John Darby, head of product management, both left. Observers attributed the ousters as a predictable elimination of redundancy.
Vallab started with the company in mid-2012, while Darby joined early last year. Neither responded to requests for comment.
The departures followed the surprising September replacement of Michael Smith, co-founder and CEO, by Susan Daimler, the general manager of Zillow New York, which includes StreetEasy. Smith remains chairman. Around the same time, Chief Operating Officer Robin Allstadt also departed. Daniel Sultan, head of business development, soon followed.
Vallab and Darby were the fifth and sixth top executives to depart or change jobs since Zillow bought the then-34-person company in August for $50 million.